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Miss Firecracker

Overview

A hot tamale tries to throw off a different sort of heat in this comedy of small-town manners. Carnelle Scott (Holly Hunter) is best-known in her hometown of Yazoo City, MS, for her unrepentant promiscuity. An orphan taken in by her genteel relatives, she idolizes her older cousin, Elain Rutledge (Mary Streenburgen), a former Fourth of July "Miss Firecracker" contest winner who is taking time out from her life as a pampered wife in Atlanta to give a speech on "My Life as a Beauty" at this year's pageant. ...
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Overview

A hot tamale tries to throw off a different sort of heat in this comedy of small-town manners. Carnelle Scott (Holly Hunter) is best-known in her hometown of Yazoo City, MS, for her unrepentant promiscuity. An orphan taken in by her genteel relatives, she idolizes her older cousin, Elain Rutledge (Mary Streenburgen), a former Fourth of July "Miss Firecracker" contest winner who is taking time out from her life as a pampered wife in Atlanta to give a speech on "My Life as a Beauty" at this year's pageant. Determined to follow in Elain's footsteps, Carnelle puts a damper on her libido and enlists the help of local seamstress Popeye Jackson (Alfre Woodard) in preparing for the pageant. She also implores Elain to let her borrow the red dress in which Elain won the contest in 1972. Meanwhile, Elain's brother, ne'er-do-well Delmount Williams (Tim Robbins), arrives with a get-rich-quick scheme that involves hocking the family estate. Into this mix steps Mac Sam (Scott Glenn), one of the men who contributed to Carnelle's scandalous past. Adapted by Beth Henley from her own play The Miss Firecracker Contest, Miss Firecracker finds Hunter reprising her stage role. The actress also starred in Henley's Crimes of the Heart on Broadway, although she did not appear in the 1986 film adaptation. Woodard and Steenburgen previously appeared together in Cross Creek. Miss Firecracker was shot on-location in real-life Yazoo City.
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Special Features

Slideshow presentation; Previews; Scene selections
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
A decade before the crop of turn-of-the-millennium beauty-pageant flicks -- Drop Dead Gorgeous, Beautiful, and Miss Congeniality among them -- this hothouse flower of a comedy said most of what needs to be said about the subject, and it did so with a good deal of wit and style. Featuring the indelible comic troika of Holly Hunter, Mary Steenburgen, and Alfre Woodard, Miss Firecracker is at once a bittersweet character study, a slapstick send-up, and a lighthearted riposte to Miss America ideals. Fresh from the double triumph of Broadcast News and Raising Arizona, Hunter gets her hands dirty as trashy, determined Carnelle Scott. Steenburgen and Woodard, meanwhile, play her haughty cousin and her oddball helpmate with two very different but complementary forms of comic acuity. Tim Robbins turns in fine work in the supporting role of another of Carnelle's cousins, while the other fictional and real-life denizens of Yazoo City, MS, help sketch out the script's backdrop of small-town Americana. As gaudy and over-the-top as a real-life pageant, the film probably won't do much for audiences who prefer restrained realism. But the dynamics between the principal players ring so true that the film remains winning even at its shrillest moments.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/25/2004
  • UPC: 687797107091
  • Original Release: 1989
  • Rating:

  • Source: Millennium
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:41:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 27,815

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Holly Hunter Carnelle Scott
Mary Steenburgen Elain Rutledge
Tim Robbins Delmount Williams
Alfre Woodard Popeye Jackson
Scott Glenn Mac Sam
Veanne Cox Tessy Mahoney
Ann Wedgeworth Miss Blue
Trey Wilson Benjamin Drapper
Amy Wright Missy Mahoney
Bert Remsen Mr. Morton
Gregg Burge
Avy Kaufman
Mindy Marin
Kathleen Chalfant Miss Lily
Robert Fieldsteel Tommy Turner
Greg Germann Ronnie Wayne
Avril Gentles Mrs. Biggs
Mitch Saxton Mitch
John Burgess William
Brent Spiner Preacher Mann
Joyce Murrah Ruby Kay
Technical Credits
Thomas Schlamme Director
Maher Ahmad Art Director
Arthur Albert Cinematographer
Lewis M. Allen Executive Producer, Producer
Fred Berner Producer, Production Designer
Richard Coll Producer
Homer Denison Score Composer
Peter C. Frank Editor
Beth Henley Screenwriter
Molly Maginnis Costumes/Costume Designer
David Mansfield Score Composer
Ross E. Milloy Executive Producer, Producer
Helen Pollak Associate Producer
Kristi Zea Production Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Miss Firecracker [3:58]
2. Application [6:53]
3. Red Hots & Lemon Drops [2:46]
4. First Fitting [7:40]
5. Introducitons [12:37]
6. A Lot of Pretty Girls [15:01]
7. The Final Five [7:33]
8. Opening Parade [15:04]
9. Talent Contest [6:34]
10. The Winner Is... [2:23]
11. Follow the Float [10:01]
12. The Red Dress [6:33]
13. Finding Grace [2:33]
14. End Titles [3:05]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Chapters
   Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      Previews
         A Shock to the System
         The Blue Diner
         Big Time
         Lemon Sky
      Slide Show/Miss Firecracker Theme
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